Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The First Date Paradox

We've all been on those dates with someone that don't turn out like you're expecting. Maybe the restaurant is a mecca for vegetarians but all you want it is a hunk of steak, maybe your date expects you do to all the talking. Regardless, the date is awkwardly uncomfortable and the end can't come fast enough. Then there are times when the date ends and all you can think is, Where did the time go? That being said, I decided to dive into the minds and experiences of my friends and myself and uncover what it is that makes (or breaks) a first date.

Let me start by pointing out that I'm a girl. I have never asked anyone on a date nor have I had to plan one for myself. Sure, I've been incredibly forward (especially so this past year) and practically asked guys out, but luckily they've caught on before I ask and do it themselves. And, being a girl, I can only offer one view on an activity that involves two. Of course, I am only one girl so don't take my word as the end all be all (because I know you do already) and blame me later if your date goes poorly. Clear? And we're off.

The perfect first date, especially when I don't know the other guy that well, is to go somewhere casual and talk. A nice bar with good food (I promise, they exist) where I can get a beer instead of wine and be comfortable chatting. Where there might be a TV on the wall to offer some topics for conversation should it ever lag. After talking with friends, I find I might be alone in this opinion. Sure, if we continue to date I'll want you to take me somewhere nice, but not from the get go. First dates are nerve wracking enough, let's not add a super classy dinner to the list of things to think about. For me, first dates are about getting to know you and vice versa and I will never really be myself in a restaurant where appetizers cost more than I would normally spend on a meal.

I asked some guy friends why a fancy dinner has become the norm and they said they want to impress the girl. I countered with, "Sure it's nice but I'd be more impressed if you were comfortable enough with me to go to a casual place." Of course, a bar yields a potential problem - what if your date doesn't drink? A sporting event seemed to be a preferred date by the guys which raised the issue that your date might not like the sport you're watching. This led to more discussion and I began to realize that yes, planning a first date is indeed difficult. But if you don't know if you're date likes to drink or if s/he hates baseball, you should probably hang out with her more in a group setting before diving into the date. Am I alone in this opinion? Probably, but I'm the kind of person who wants to know more than your name before we're alone together.

All this post and its research did was encourage my curiosity about first dates. I can't really be the only person who wants a chill first date, right? And if I'm not, when did the fancy first date become the norm? If it's expected for guys to spend a ton of money on a girl who may or may not lead to anything, I'm surprised guys still ask girls out.

So I ask you - what is your perfect first date?


  1. The concept of a nice dinner is for the following reasons, but is not exhaustive: (1) least intrusive regarding to a worst case scenario, everyone has to eat, (2) to show the girl they can behave in a proper manner, (3) that the other's company is all they require, (4) no distractions to actually get to know the other person, (5) she's worth it, (6) everyone looks better in a slightly dimmed golden light and because (7) guys have their own idea of what is thought to be romantic (because if it was the right guy, any girl would be impressed with it).

    And to answer your question, the perfect first date is one that gets you another.

  2. The perfect first date has two main factors. First the guy must read the girl and come up with some kind of interesting thing that the two of them could enjoy doing together and where they will be both reasonably comfortable. The second factor is on what the end goal is. If your trying to take the girl out for hopes of a second date you want to pick somewhere casual, where both of you can feel comfortable in the environment. From that point you can start to dive in and start to get to know each other on an intellectual degree. On the contrary, if your end goal is for the night to end up with sheets and a shower, than you would take her somewhere where the environment can be the entertainment and you can pick and choose when to make the right moves to coax the night back to the bedroom.
    Bottom line tho i agree with the previous comment posted "the perfect date is the one that gets you another."